“American Horror Story: Hotel” recap (5.11): Kill me. But screw me first.

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Okay, so raise your hand if you had no idea that this was the second-to-last episode of Hotel. On the one hand, that’s is a good thing, because usually I am so burnt out on AHS that I can’t wait for a season to end. But on the other, it leaves us where we are at this time every season: with plot lines spewing blood like so many severed arteries, and the writers frantically scrambling to tie them off. And that’s a shame because, though this has been one of the most narratively scattered seasons, its characters have been some of the richest in the history of the show, and I hate to see them killed off so ignominiously.

So who could have predicted, when we got on this ride, that the power couple at the end would be Iris and Liz?

ahs11.1SAME THING WE DO EVERY NIGHT, PINKY—TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD.

We start this week by flashing back to the moment when our favorite front desk clerks decided to take over management of the Cortez, via the means of revolver. They successfully shoot the Countess a few times, but then Donovan throws himself in front of her and Iris ends up killing her own beloved son. The Countess escapes and Iris whisks Donovan outside so his spirit can, at least, leave the Cortez. (Which: thank god. Folks need to start staying dead.)

And where does the Countess end up but in the tender care of Sally, who keeps her alive so that she can go fetch John for her. While the Countess recuperates, Sally tells a story of the only time she was truly happy, which was when a grunge duo humored her songwriting aspirations in exchange of a constant supply of heroin.

ahs11.2AND THEN IT CHANGED. IT CHANGES.

Of all the stories we’ve heard this season, this is the most tragic, largely because even as Sarah Paulson’s voice says that her two friends really cared about her, her eyes wonder if they did. They have a sordid threesome in the Cortez and, in a fit of longing for EVEN MORE connection—that druggie longing for everything at the highest possible frequency—Sally sews their skins together. And then they OD, and she spends the next five days sewn to their decaying corpses and being tortured by the addiction demon (who I guess we’re never going to learn more about).

ahs11.3STILL NOT AS BRUTAL AS “LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX.”

On the fifth day, she pulls away from their bodies, ripping her own skin in the process. It makes me feel ill just to write about it. But, addict that she is, Sally keeps coming back to the Cortez, until finally getting stuck there forever. And now, she wants John to share her miserable eternity with her.

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